Measuring individual differences in Implicit Cognition: The implicit Association Test
An implicit association test (IAT)
measures differential association of 2 target concepts with an attribute
o target concepts black and white ppl
o attribute good
The 2 concepts appear in a 2-choice task (e.g., flower vs. insect names),
the attribute in a 2nd task (e.g., pleasant vs. unpleasant words for an evaluation
o oblige highly associated categories (e.g., flower + pleasant) to share a
performance is faster
o than when less associated categories (e.g., insect + pleasant) share a key
This performance difference implicitly measures differential association of the 2
concepts with the attribute.
In 3 experiments, the IAT was sensitive to
o (a) near-universal evaluative differences (e.g., flower vs. insect)
o (b) expected individual differences in evaluative associations (Japanese +
pleasant vs. Korean + pleasant for Japanese vs. Korean subjects)
japs think japs are pleasant this an expected implicit association
o (c) consciously disavowed evaluative differences (Black + pleasant vs.
White + pleasant for self-described unprejudiced White subjects).
A white dude implicit association with black ppl as bad
You are shown a series of male and female faces
you are to respond as rapidly as possible by saying
o "hello" if the face is male
o "goodbye" if it is female.
You are shown a series of male and female names
You are to respond rapidly
o with "hello" for male names
o "goodbye" for female names
These discriminations are both designed to be easy The faces and names are unambiguously male or female.
Shown a series of alternating faces and names,
You are to say
o "hello" if the face or name is male
o "goodbye" if the face or name is female.
This combined task will be easy because of the association between male name
with male faces and female names with female faces
You are asked to respond in the same way to the same sex face and name the
association between the two is strong lets test that association now
o "hello" to male faces
o "goodbye" to female faces
o "goodbye" male names
o "hello" to female names
now we are asking the participant to do different things for name and face of the same
sex testing the association btw those 2
As with the first experiment, each of these tasks, by itself, is easy.
However when you contemplate mixing the two tasks it is difficult.
Unless you wish to make many errors, you will have to respond considerably more
slowly than in the previous experiment.
The expected difficulty of the experiment with the reversed second discrimination
follows from the existence of strong associations of male names to male faces and
female names to female faces.
The attempt to map the same two responses ("hello" and "goodbye") in opposite
ways onto the two gender contrasts is resisted by well-established associations
that link the face and name domains.
The (assumed) performance difference between the two versions of the combined
task indeed measures the strength of gender-based associations between the face
and name domains.
Implicit association test (IAT):
Useful for diagnosing a wide range of socially significant associative structures.
The present research sought specifically to appraise
o IAT method's usefulness
for measuring evaluative associations that underlie implicit
attitudes Measuring Implicit Attitudes
manifest as actions or judgments
under the control of automatically activated evaluation
without the performer's awareness of that causation
The IAT procedure seeks to measure implicit attitudes by measuring their
underlying automatic evaluation.
The IAT is therefore similar in intent to cognitive priming procedures for
measuring automatic affect or attitude
A measure of socially significant automatic associations
o Black or White
"hello" to African American faces
"goodbye" to European American faces
The second task is to classify words as pleasant or unpleasant in meaning
o "hello" to pleasant words
o "goodbye" to unpleasant words
Black + pleasant should be easier than White + pleasant if there is a stronger
association between Black Americans and pleasant meaning than between White
Americans and pleasant meaning
A possible property of the IAT-and one that is similar to a major virtue of
cognitive priming methods-is that it may resist masking by self-presentation
o That is, the implicit association method may reveal attitudes and other
automatic associations even for subjects who prefer not to express those
attitudes. Design of the IAT
The IAT assesses the association between a target-concept discrimination and an
The procedure starts with introduction of the
o target-concept discrimination.
Initial discrimination is to distinguish first names that are (in the
United States) recognizable as Black or African American from
ones recognizable as White or European American.
This and subsequent discriminations are performed by:
o assigning one category to a response by the left hand and the other to a
response by the right hand.
Respond black name right hand white name left hand
The second step is introduction of the attribute dimension, also in the form of a
o Associated Attribute discrimination
the attribute discrimination was evaluation
represented by the task of categorizing words as pleasant versus
unpleasant in meaning.
After this introduction to the target discrimination (black white) and to the
attribute dimension (pleasant and un pleasant words)
the two are superimposed in the third step,
o in which stimuli for target and attribute discriminations appear on alternate
so name, word, name, word
your job cateogirze as black-white, pleasant-unpleaset, b-w, up-p
In the fourth step, the respondent learns a reversal of response assignments for the
the fifth (final) step combines the attribute discrimination (not changed in
response assignments) with this reversed target discrimination.
If the target categories are differentially associated with the attribute dimension,
the subject should find one of the combined tasks (of the third or fifth step) to be
considerably easier than the other
o The third step and the fifts step are the opposite of each other